Virginia Fire Department Station Goes for LEED Gold and Wins National Award
On June 20, 2009, Dale City, Virginia, Volunteer Fire Department opened its new Station 10, the second "green" fire station on the East Coast and only the ninth developed and built in the United States. Station 10 was awarded a LEED Gold Rating from the United States Green Building Council.
Station 10 was recently featured in the November, 2009, issue of Fire Chief magazine and was selected as the best volunteer station and the best of all designs submitted out of 87 entries in six categories. Designed by Hughes Group Architects, the station was designed with many energy saving features, including motion-sensor lights, energy-efficient heating and air conditioning equipment and windows, and high levels of insulation. The station has two "green" balconies to support the growth of vegetation that absorbs rainwater and helps insulate the building. An 11,000 gallon cistern is buried in the front yard of the station to collect and store rainwater for irrigation. These and other water conservation measures enable the building to save more than 40 percent of the water a comparable facility uses. The building site includes over an acre of land and has been designated as a conservation area.
This project was originally conceived and included in the capital improvement budget for Dale City Volunteer Fire Department as a replacement for the original Station 10, which was outdated and could not reasonably be redesigned to incorporate important health and safety and energy saving features. Although land for the station was secured years ago, budget cuts over recent years threatened the project. Nonetheless, Prince William County officials were persuaded to approve the project because of its green design features.
Station 10 has sleeping quarters for up to 17 people, a kitchen and dining area, an exercise room, locker rooms and showers, offices, storage space, and a six-bay garage that has six pieces of fire fighting apparatus, trucks and EMS vehicles. Unique four-fold doors reduce response times, and a response slide and twin poles enhance access to ready gear and vehicles from the upper station level.
WTP attorneys provided legal advice at each phase of the project, including the green elements, review of title work, loan approval and documentation, and construction contract review and approval.